A posthumous award has been given to a police dog and his handler for saving a missing pensioner in Mirfield.
PC Jerry White picked up a medal from the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) on behalf of Ty, a West Yorkshire Police German Shepherd.
The PDSA invited PC White to nominate Ty for the PDSA Commendation after he and the Mirfield job, which was in 2007, were mentioned in a newspaper article last year.
PC White said: “I am delighted to receive this award on behalf of Ty. His work that night, like every other deployment, was exceptional, and without him I am not sure if we would have been able to locate the missing lady so swiftly.”
PC White and Ty were called to an incident where a woman, 86, had gone missing from a care home in Mirfield in the early hours of May 3, 2007. As the first officer on the scene, PC White established that the woman had already been gone for more than two hours and had taken sleeping pills.
She was wearing only thin nightwear, known to be unsteady on her feet and was said to be very confused by staff at the home.
PC White found out the door the woman left from and set Ty to work. He quickly established the scent and after a search, found her trapped in fencing under some bushes.
They contacted other officers and paramedics who made their way to the scene to help rescue the woman.
Police said the incident could have been fatal if the woman had not been found, .
Director of the, Director General of the PDSA Jan McLaughlin said: “The PDSA Commendation recognises the outstanding devotion that animals display and celebrates the amazing ways they enrich our lives.
“It is clear that Ty made an incredible contribution to keeping his community safe during his time with West Yorkshire Police and he is a worthy recipient of the PDSA Commendation.”
PC White, has been a dog handler for 13 years, and presently has Nez, a black German Shepherd and Murphy,a Springer Spaniel, known for his enthusiasm.
Chief Insp Chris Corkindale of West Yorkshire Police Protective Services Operations said incidents such as the one in Mirfield emphasise the need to use police dogs.